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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

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God Bless America: 1941

God Bless America: 1941

January 1941. "Window in home of unemployed steelworker. Ambridge, Pennsylvania." Medium-format negative by John Vachon. View full size.

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I admire the "God Bless America" sign in the window despite his employment status at the time. Faith in his Country and in the Future. We need more of that can do attitude today. Rough times, yes, but this is America! Nothing is impossible!


That looks like a nice clivia being nurtured through the winter on the window sill. The leaf tips are so pointy because the brown parts were scissored off to keep the plant looking good. The lumpy little thing in the small pot to its right is looks like a starter cutting from an epiphyllum, probably a Christmas or Easter cactus, and a longtime favorite of cold-climate indoor gardeners.

Patriot Games

I remember the door of my father's laundry store had, what must have been, a holographic banner with an American flag in the center and when you looked toward the left a picture of General Eisenhower appeared and to the right, one
of General MacArthur.

Unemployed to Overemployed in 12 months

Just think... if this is January 1941, this guy is about to go from unemployed to working 12 hour shifts seven days a week for three years in the next 12 months. WOW.

Numerous Numerals

I wonder what the house number was.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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